Armenia’s governing coalition insisted on Friday that it never pledged to ensure the release of an Armenian National Congress (HAK) member remaining in prison during its negotiations with the opposition alliance.
The five members of a negotiating team representing the three-party coalition denounced as an “evident lie” claims to the contrary made by their HAK counterparts.
“We regret not so much your lies as the fact that we have started not trusting in you,” they said in a joint statement.
The statement came in response to the HAK’s decision to suspend its negotiations with President Serzh Sarkisian’s political team. The opposition bloc blamed the move on the continuing imprisonment of Tigran Arakelian, one of the seven HAK activists arrested during an August 9 clash with police.
“We will repeat what we said during the previous meetings: we did not, do not and will not link the issue of the young man involved in the incident with this important political process because it completely lies on a legal plane,” read the coalition statement.
The coalition representatives stressed that they are ready to continue the talks with the HAK that began last month. “We hope that our colleagues will be able to stand above momentary temptations and that we will be able to carry on with this process important to our country as soon as possible,” they said.
The dialogue between the two sides was supposed to address the lingering fallout from Armenia’s 2008 pos-election unrest. It followed the release in May of the last HAK members imprisoned on controversial charges related to the unrest.